The relationship between artists, artworks and audiences has been changing rapidly at the latest since Marcel Duchamp’s Large Glass (1923). Theorists and artists alike, Roy Ascot and Frank Popper among them have written about the ways that artists relinquish authorship and delegate artistic production. This thesis builds on these concepts and argues that the audience can be regarded as a medium used by artists. This thesis focuses on participatory Internet-artworks.

Glyphiti and Communimage are analysed for the way their appearances are mainly to be attributed to the work of participators. The artworks’ dependence on audiences to complete the concepts they embody is related to video installations of the sixties and seventies. Midnight Madness and the installation and website of noplace are analyzed as recent examples of works that incorporate user-generated content.

Using audiences as part of an artwork provides an artistically appealing form of randomness. Using the audience as a medium can provide an intended distortion to the appearance of works.

User-generated content and audience participation give back a sense of originality and authenticity to artworks. Although interactivity is generally felt as giving audiences more agency the opposite is often true. In the case of the works analysed here the artists provide the framework of possibilities for participants to work with.

Read the entire thesis on academia.eu